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Article published in Euromoto magazine in 2007.

Andalusia is the southernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula, therefore also the one that has suffered most from the Arab influence, clearly visible and found in its architecture and in some of the major artistic attractions it offers the traveler. A vast territory, where the Spanish economic boom, in addition to irreparably disfiguring the coasts, has however contributed to the creation of a highly efficient road system and in some cases, which we have sought with moderate success, very suitable for motorcycling and tourism.

Read the story published in the magazine.

It’s no secret that Andalusia can afford to send its visitors for a good half of the year to bask on its beaches lapped by sparkling waters. Solar land, as solar are its inhabitants, lovers of company and fun, whether it is to enjoy tapas in one of the numerous bars, or to keep up a fiestas until late hours. In Andalusian cities, modernity and nightlife coexist with spectacular Islamic and Christian monuments, splendid, fascinating, rich in shapes, history and colors. The coasts are perhaps the sore point of this area: heavy urbanization has probably affected its original beauty and, especially in the Mediterranean part, even the smallest centers have become real industries for mass tourism. But it is enough to go inside the region to enter another dimension, made up of villages of white houses, between rugged mountains and green hills, where you still live with the rhythm of the seasons: here olive trees, vines are grown, orange and almond trees, between hot summers and freezing winters. The majestic landscapes of land and sea offer countless ideas for itineraries and this is just one example.

Surely the most attentive will have noticed that Granada and its spectacular Alhambra are not offered on the itinerary. Neither superficiality, nor mistakes, much less unpreparedness, simply on the third visit I decided to avoid it but certainly in a possible trip to southern Spain the city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada is certainly to be included in the program, an essential destination. Having said that, the arrival in Andalusia takes place by state roads and the first stop is Cordoba. We are on the banks of the Guadalquivir, a river that was once navigable, which certainly made the fortunes of this part of the Iberian Peninsula.

The urban structure is typically Arab, and a real invitation to walk through its alleys where it is easy to lose orientation.

But the real attraction of this town is undoubtedly the mosque, which was transformed into a cathedral in 1523, an operation that provoked fierce criticism, even in the Catholic world itself, but which certainly left behind an extraordinarily unique work of its kind.

It seems that at the sight of the final result, Charles V himself exclaimed: “What have you done? You have destroyed something unique and inimitable, to build something absolutely common! "

To get to Ronda, defined as the most beautiful city in Andalusia, and one of the most beautiful in Spain, you can take a couple of hours or spend a whole day getting lost, after visiting the interesting Antequera, among the panoramic roads of the Garganta del Corro. The road once you take the A366 becomes nothing short of exciting, but after Burgos ... ... in the list of reviews I will realize that even "spectacular" can be an understatement !!!

In Ronda, modern foot fighting against bulls was invented. The plaza de toros, the oldest in all of Spain, was inaugurated in 1784 and is a masterpiece.

A real sanctuary of its kind, it is perfectly preserved. The arena forms a perfect circle, with 2 overlapping orders of lowered arches, resting on 176 Tuscan columns, 5,000 seats, a diameter of 66 meters, completely covered and the only one that has a protective stone barrier. But also the day after the “los pueblos blancos” area will offer us a series of amazing roads, especially the first part up to the junction for El Colmenar, along the A369. After Algeciras, the urban impact of the coastal cities seems to diminish to make way for fishing villages and small tourist centers, until the arrival in Cadiz.

Cadiz, Julia Augusta Gadigana, many names for a single place, founded by the Phoenicians, inhabited since 1100 BC. One of the oldest cities in the West.

The ancient nucleus, built on a promontory, is surrounded by a seventeenth-century pentagonal bastion. 4.5 km. to travel by motorbike or on foot, to realize that the most interesting part is the one closed between the castle of Santa Catalina and the bridge that joins the walls with the castle of San Sebastiano, a walk of about one km., but very suggestive.

We are on the home straight, But before arriving in Seville and being literally swallowed up and crushed (in all senses) by the "Semana Santa" (see box), Jerez de la Frontera with its cellars and endless opportunities to tasting and the beautiful Arcos de la Frontiera, set as an amphitheater, high on reddish rocks dominating the Guadalete river that envelops it almost completely. Another day of driving on beautiful roads and that's it.

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